The Catholic Church and the UN

John Allen gives the Catholic Church credit for a UN General Assembly vote in favor of a global moratorium on the death penalty.

This is ironic, in that the Catholic Church for centuries told rulers that the death penalty was obligatory (see the Catechism of the Council of Trent). She condemned as heretics those who dared to say it was contrary to the will of God to burn heretics (see Leo X, Exsurge Domine, for example, point 33).

What is consistent is the Catholic Church’s claim to be the teacher of the state. She can change her teachings from century to century, can require execution or forbid it, can denounce religious liberty or command it, can terrorize Jews or demand they be given respect–what is consistent is her own claim to be mater et magistra, Mother and Teacher, of all humanity.